Technology | 12Min Read

Complete ATS Buyers’ Guide | Step-by-step Process

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What Have We Covered?

Well, there could be two reasons that you choose to explore this guide.  

1. You want to smoothly manage and automate your recruitment workflow with ATS.  

2. You’re already using an ATS that is not up to par, and you are unhappy with it, so you are finding the best ATS that fulfills your unique hiring needs.  

Whatever the reason is, you will get your answer to the most pressing question every user is struggling with, which is: How to find and buy the best ATS? 

Let’s not wait and dive deep into this practical step-by-step ATS buyers' guide.  

We assure you that at the end of this guide, you’ll be assured how to identify the best ATS. 

But Why Do You Need an ATS?

The most important question, isn’t it?  

So, to address this question, you have to identify your organisation's hiring problem first. You have to figure out why the necessity arose in the first place.  

Here are some of the common reasons that trigger you to find the Best Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software solution.  

1. Increasing Hiring Obstacles & Needs 

As your company grows, your hiring needs will become more complex and extensive. To fulfil these hiring needs and accommodate growth, you need a scalable ATS that can scale with you.  

2. Inefficient and Traditional Workflow Management 

Without an ATS, recruiters and HRs often find themselves buried under a mountain of emails and trapped in complex spreadsheets. This is not only time-consuming but also prone to human errors. 

In a scenario of missed opportunities, ATS emerges as a lifesaver, automating these hiring tasks and ensuring a more organised and efficient workflow. 

3. The Current ATS is Outdated  

Maybe your organisation uses an ATS, but it is unable to keep up with the latest hiring trends and strategies because it lacks modern features and functionalities. In this case, you need to look for the ATS that contains all the features that you need. 

4. Compliance and Data Security Concerns

What is the point if your current ATS fails to protect recruitment data and adhere to GDPR compliance? In that case, you need to look for a more secure option. 

How to Map Out Your Requirement for the ATS? 

Are you looking for an ATS that is perfectly suitable for you? 

If yes, then you will need to define your needs for the ATS accurately, but how?   

Let’s check out how. 

1. Understand Your Recruitment Needs 

Your recruitment team needs to document your end-to-end recruitment process and mention the crucial activities recruiters must perform. 

Also, try to go the extra mile and consider future obstacles that might occur in conducting the entire recruitment workflow.   

But what’s the significance of doing this activity?  

It will help you identify exactly the recruitment needs that the new ATS software must fulfil.

2. Ask, What Your Current Solution Lacks?  

You are using an ATS, but it is not customisable to your needs or scalable as your hiring needs grow.  

Then, these are the red flags, which you need to figure out based on the hiring needs you have identified.  

Make a checklist of what your needs are and what functionalities your current ATS is not offering.  

3. What’s Your Recruitment Budget? 

Ask your hiring manager about the allocated recruitment budget you can utilise for the ATS.  

Consider the upfront subscription fees, training charges and ongoing usage expenses you need to make.  

Consider the total approximate amount you have been given for the ATS. 

How to Plan Your Recruitment Budget for 2024?

 4. Define the Timeline for New ATS Implementation 

Get the timeline from your employer or hiring manager about when they need you to make the final decision about choosing the right ATS and the time frame within it should be fully functioned. 

 This will help you take follow-ups accordingly. 

Key Considerations While Choosing an ATS 

There are certain criteria that you must assess before finalising an ATS. Here they are. 

1. Check out the Mobile Accessibility

Easily Accessible on Mobiles: You need to confirm that the ATS is mobile-friendly. This will give your recruiters and candidates the liberty to interact with the system anytime, anywhere.

Mobile Responsive Design: You should look for an ATS which has a mobile responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes and ensures a seamless experience on smartphones and tablets.

2. Is ATS Provider Offering Customisation?

Tailored Solutions: Check if you customise the ATS software to fit your unique hiring processes, needs, and workflows. 

Also, customisation options allow the system to adapt as your organisation grows and changes. 

3. Is the System able to Integrate with Other HR Tools?

Seamless Workflow: Can your ATS can be integrated with other HR tools like HRIS, and payroll software to streamline your workflow, reducing manual data entry and errors? 

You can look for an ATS that acts as a central hub and integrates various aspects of HR management for efficiency and better data insights. 

Explore Top iSmartRecruit Integrations 

4. Assess Software Flexibility & Scalability

Adaptable Features: You must choose an ATS tool that offers flexible features and is capable of adjusting to your changing recruitment needs.

 Growth Support: Ask your ATS vendor will the ATS can handle and manage an increasing volume of job postings and candidate applications as your company grows. 

5. Is the Software User-Friendly & Initiative?

Ease of Use: If you choose an intuitive ATS, then it will reduce the learning curve for your team, and they can quickly adapt it. As a result, it enhances your team’s productivity from the start. 

 Candidate Experience: A user-friendly system also improves the candidate experience, which positively impacts your employer brand.

6. Is Customer Support Prompt?

Quick Assistance to Your Query: Prompt and reliable customer support is very important to solve any issues you encounter with the system and minimise downtime. 

 Support Channels: Review if the ATS provider offers multiple support channels (phone, email, chat) for their customer’s convenience.

7. Check out the Client’s Review

Real Experiences of Current Users: Client reviews give you information about real-world usage. Also, it highlights strengths and potential issues in the ATS system. 

You can reach out to them via email or social media to get more specifications related to their experience with the system.

 iSmartRecruit Client Reviews on Capterra 

8. Take a Demo and Free Trial

Hands-on Experience: Request a live demo from the vendor to understand how their system can streamline your hiring. 

Still, if you aren’t quite convinced, then take a free trial.  It offers a risk-free way for you to explore ATS's features and usability firsthand.

Informed Decision: This practical experience will help you in making an informed decision. You will be assured that the ATS meets your expectations.

9. How is the Vendor’s Reputation?

Industry Standing: A vendor with a good reputation is likely to offer a highly rated and reliable quality ATS.

Longevity and Expertise: Consider the vendor's experience and longevity in the current market as indicators of stability and continuous product improvement.

10. Evaluate Security & Compliance

Data Protection: You need to check whether the ATS complies with data protection regulations like GDPR and other labour laws in order to safeguard candidate information.

Security Measures: Choose the ATS if the vendor is offering robust security measures such as encryption and regular audits to protect against data breaches and malware activity. 

11. Implementation and Training

Smooth Data Migration: Is the data migration easy from your old ATS to the upgraded ATS? 

Check if a vendor offers complete support in implementation and training services so that your team can smoothly transition to the new ATS.

Also, post-implementation support and training updates are immensely important to help your team stay proficient and get the maximum benefits of the ATS system. 

Top 10 Must-have Features in ATS Software You Can’t Missout

Are you confused by the many features ATS vendors offer? It can be overwhelming, right? But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

 To get more clarity, check if they are offering the below crucial features or not. 

Resume Parsing

This feature will help you Import resumes and automatically parse and extract key information from those resumes. It will save time, and no candidate will be overlooked. Plus, it turns a pile of resumes into a searchable database of talent in seconds. This way, resume management will be easier than ever. 

Candidate Tracking

Want to keep track of every candidate's journey through your hiring process? 

Then, this function helps you organise and manage every candidate efficiently. So you can run a smooth recruitment workflow.

Job Posting and Distribution

With a single click, you can easily post job openings to multiple job boards and social media channels. This expands your reach and effortlessly attracts a diverse pool of qualified candidates. Market your jobs in the most efficient way! 

Collaborative Hiring

Want to collaborate with team members to share feedback and make informed hiring decisions? This feature fosters a unified approach to evaluating candidates for a fit in terms of both skills and culture.

Interview Scheduling & Management 

Want to automate the interview scheduling and management to eliminate back-and-forth emails? 

Then, this tool is a must in ATS to sync with calendars to make it easy to find the best time for both interviewers and candidates.

Communication Tools

Communication features help you maintain clear and consistent communication with candidates directly from the ATS. 

You can personalise recruiting emails and timely updates to enhance the candidate experience, reflecting positively on your employer brand image.

Reporting and Analytics

How can you forget this incredibly important feature? 

This feature allows you to gain insights into your hiring process with data-driven reports. It helps you understand what's working, where you can improve, and how to make more informed decisions.

Advanced Search and Filter Options

With this function in your ATS, you can quickly find candidates with the right skills using powerful search and filtering capabilities. It will allow you to sift through your talent pool with precision to identify top talent.

Automated Candidate Screening

Want to automate the candidate assessment process? 

Then how can you do it without this feature? Automatically screen candidates based on predefined criteria, such as skills, experience, and education. 

 It will help you narrow down the applicant pool to those who best suit your job requirements.

Onboarding Integration 

You can streamline your onboarding workflow, a smooth transition from candidate to employee, with onboarding tools integrated into your ATS. 

 With this feature, you can prepare new hires for their roles before their start date, improving their initial experience and retention.

55 Questions You Must Ask to Your ATS Provider

We all know that selecting the right Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is crucial for streamlining your hiring process and enhancing candidate experience to ultimately secure top talent, right? 

 For that, you need to ask the right questions to ensure you choose an ATS that aligns with your organisation's specific needs. 

 Here are 55 essential questions that you must ask your ATS provider to gain a deeper understanding of each provider's offerings. 

Industry Experience 

  • How long have you been providing ATS solutions?
  • Do you have clients with companies in our industry?
  • Can you share case studies or testimonials from similar clients?
  • How do you stay updated with recruitment trends and compliance regulations in our industry?
  • Are most of your customers large or small businesses?

ATS Features 

  • What is the load speed of your product?
  • Is your ATS Mobile-friendly? 
  • Can I login to your system on any computer using any browser?
  • Does your ATS come with a defined workflow or can I customise it as per needs?
  • What are the automation capabilities your system offers? 
  • Is predictive intelligence available in your system? 
  • What core functionalities does your ATS offer?

Integrations Capability 

  • Is there an API available for custom integrations?
  • Can your ATS integrate smoothly with our existing HR software and systems?
  • Is there support for calendar and email integrations?
  • How does the ATS handle integration with job boards and social media?
  • Can the system integrate with background check services and candidate screening?

Email Communication 

  • Can we track email opens and interactions within the ATS? 
  • Is your ATS support email templates for communication with candidates? 
  • Is there an integrated email system, or will it work with our existing email provider?
  • How does the ATS ensure email deliverability and compliance with spam regulations?

Product Innovation 

  • Do you have a research and development team? 
  • How frequently do you release updates and new features? 
  • How do you incorporate customer feedback into your product development? 
  • Are there any upcoming features or innovations that we should be aware of?


  • What is your typical implementation timeline for the ATS?
  • Can you outline the implementation process and key milestones?
  • Who will be our main point of contact during the implementation?
  • What resources will be required from our side for a successful implementation?

User Training 

  • Will you provide training for our team on how to use the ATS?
  • What types of training materials and resources do you provide?
  • Is there an additional cost for training sessions?
  • How do you support new users after the initial training period?

Adding New Users 

  • What’s the limit to the number of users who can have access to your system?
  • Is it possible to add new seats as I need them? 
  • Can you tell us what’s is the cost of adding new users?
  • How to add new users? 

Data Security

  • What’s your data collection process? 
  • Who owns the client data? 
  • What precautions do you take to ensure the system is highly secure?
  • What’s your data protection policy? 
  • How often do you take backups?

Client Support 

  • What types of customer support do you offer (e.g. phone, email, live chat)? 
  • What are your support hours, and do you offer 24/7 support? 
  • How do you handle urgent issues or system downtimes? 
  • Is there a dedicated account manager for our company? 
  • What is the average response time for support requests?

Pricing and Contracts

  • How is your pricing structured?
  • Are there any setup or implementation fees?
  • What is included in the base price, and what costs extra?
  • What are the terms of the contract, and is there a minimum commitment?
  • How does billing work for adding or removing users?

Final Considerations

  • What makes your ATS the best choice for our company?
  • Are there any upcoming changes or updates that we should be aware of?
  • How can we measure the success and ROI of implementing your ATS?

Why People Choose iSmartRecruit Over Other ATS?

The world of recruitment is fiercely competitive. 

So, choosing the right Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can be the difference between hiring success and missed opportunities, right? 

So, why iSmartRecruit, you must be wondering. Let’s find out why! 

iSmartRecruit stands out as the preferred choice for 10k+ recruitment professionals, hiring managers, HRs, and staffing agencies in 70+ countries. 

But why do so many choose iSmartRecruit over others?

1. User-Friendly Design

iSmartRecruit is celebrated for its intuitive user interface. We understand that your time is valuable, so our platform is designed to be learned quickly and used efficiently. 

It allows you to focus more on what you do best—hiring top talent.

2. Advanced Features, Simplified

From AI-driven recruitment analytics to seamless integration capabilities, iSmartRecruit packs a powerful punch of advanced features. Yet, it's all presented in a way that's accessible and easy to use, regardless of your tech savviness.

3. Customisable to Your Needs

Recognising that no two recruitment processes are the same, iSmartRecruit offers unparalleled customisation. Tailor everything from workflow to communication templates, ensuring our system adapts to you, not the other way around.

4. Exceptional Support and Training

Our commitment to your success goes beyond recruitment software. iSmartRecruit provides comprehensive support and training resources, ensuring you maximise the benefits of your ATS investment.

5. Cost-Effective Solution

We believe in transparent, straightforward pricing without compromising on quality or functionality. iSmartRecruit delivers premium features at a cost-effective price point, making it an intelligent choice for organisations of all sizes.

6. Data Security and Compliance

In an era where data protection is paramount, iSmartRecruit ensures your candidate data is secure, and your recruitment practices comply with global regulations.

Choosing the right ATS is a critical decision for your recruitment strategy. 

iSmartRecruit is here to make that choice easier with a platform that's powerful yet approachable, customisable, and backed by a team dedicated to your success.

Request a live demo of iSmartRecruit today, and see for yourself why so many recruitment professionals prefer our system.

So, are you ready to transform your recruitment process and achieve great hiring success? 

Join Our Award-Winning AI Recruitment Software

Demos are a great, fast way to learn about iSmartRecruit.
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